Annie Bell Muzaurieta / The Daily Green
1/23/2008: Its official...you'll learn how many calories youre consuming whether you want to or not
New York City's Board of Health approved a measure yesterday that will require restaurants in the city with 15 or more locations nationally to display calorie count information next to menu items. The New York Post quotes Margo Wootan, nutrition policy director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest: "It's going to get a lot easier to make informed choices at New York City's chain restaurants this spring."
Or a lot more depressing to learn that it was the Frappuccinos that were adding 600 calories to your afternoon. Oops.
You can feign ignorance until March 31, when the measure goes into effect.
1/22/2008: That venti Java Chip Frappuccino with whip sure is tasty isn't it? But what if a sign that said 600 CALORIES was posted next to it on the menu? Maybe it wouldn't go down so easy. That's exactly what New York City's Board of Health is hoping for.
According to an article in today's New York Sun, New York City's Board of Health will vote today on a proposal requiring fast food restaurants to display calorie information on their menus. The mandate would apply to chains that have 15 or more restaurants nationally, which would affect about 10,000 restaurants in the city, such as McDonald's, Burger King, Hale & Hearty, and Starbucks. (Imagine how long the Starbucks menu would become-a calorie count for each drink combination!)
The Board of Health consists of 11 members, who are mostly appointed by the mayor. A federal judge knocked down a similar proposal from the Board last year that would have applied only to restaurants that already voluntarily offered nutrition information on their products.
The City's website quotes Dr. Thomas Frieden, New York City Health Commissioner, who expresses concern over increasing rates of obesity and diabetes, and about people's ability to make good choices: "What people choose to eat and drink is of course entirely up to them. This measure will help people make more informed choices...Posting calorie information will help people make healthier choices about what to eat and drink-and live longer, healthier lives."
The measure has critics in the restaurant industry and the New York State Restaurant Association up in arms, which sued the City after its initial proposal.
If enacted, the regulation would take effect March 31. If you're frightened of being confronted with the nutritional facts, better binge now.
Calorie Counts of Common Fast Foods:
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